Recent studies indicate that some fats are actually healthy and surprisingly necessary for a properly functioning body. Certain types of fat are needed in our diets. Without it, various organs in our body deteriorate.
There are bad fats, like the ones found in greasy cheeseburgers and french fries, and then there are the good, naturally occurring fats that are found in whole foods such as salmon and kale.
These fatty acids collectively known as Omega-3 fatty acids have been heralded as the building blocks and foundation of fat. Within the Omega-3 group, there are two very well known fats – DHA and EPA. They have a variety of important functions and jobs, among which are reducing inflammation, production and maintenance of cells, muscles, organs and nerves as well as the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure.
The Omega-3 fatty acids fall into group of fats labeled as EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). These are fats that the body does not create naturally. Therefore, the only way to absorb them is through dietary or supplementary intake.
Fatty Acids and Vision
In regards to our vision and overall eye health, numerous clinical research teams have conducted studies resulting in similar conclusions: Omega-3 fatty acids and necessary for healthy eyes. Recent analysis points to Omega-3 as one of the key sources for preventing dry eye syndrome, glaucoma and macular degeneration in adults. Research specifically showed that individuals who consumed Omega-3 regularly in their diet were about 30% less likely to develop eye issues than those who did not regularly consume omega-3 in their diet.
Fatty Acids and Infants
Omega-3 fatty acids are even more important in the development of vision development for infants. These fats have been proven to stimulate the development of vision. For infants, Omega-3 fatty acids are found in maternal breast milk as well as some formulas that have supplemented levels of DHA and other Omega-3 fatty acids in them. Research points to breast milk as being the better source of these fats as they are more naturally occurring.
In fact, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health compared a group of infants between the ages of 2 and 4 months. In this group, there was one set of infants who were fed a formula with a supplemented level of DHA while the other group was fed standard formula. The results, not surprisingly, showed that the group who had consumed the DHA rich formula had a much higher level of visual activity and development compared to the group that consumed normal formula.
Omega 3 Consumption
It is important to regularly consume foods containing naturally occurring Omega-3 fatty acids or introduce a supplement into your diet high in Omega-3 such as fish oil, kyani, or krill oil. The best foods to include in our diet for this would be any type of coldwater fish such as salmon, certain types of trout and tuna. Also popular are walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables.